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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 28 November 2029

Last Minute Changes / News

Scotland Trip 2019: Achnasheen/Glencarron 25/05-01/06 (more details below).

Will this be the week we see our first swallows? See Nature Blog

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Opera Holland Park - Un Ballo in Maschera by Verdi

Opera Holland Park is now an annual outing for us.  This year, we are going to see Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera which is one of his most sophisticated and subtle, marrying the opulence of French grand opera with innovative developments in Italian opera. 

Giuseppe Verdi set aside his project of adapting King Lear – never to be completed – to create the opera that would eventually become Un ballo in maschera. He selected a pre-existing libretto by Eugène Scribe on the story of the reformist Swedish king Gustav III, who was assassinated at a masked ball in 1792. The opera was first performed on 17 February 1859 and was an immediate success.

To book the ticket, please click here.  Pre-opera picnic in Holland Park will be posted near the time. 
For those who have never been to HPO or are aged over 65 or below 18, there is an Inspire Scheme which offers limited tickets at £20 or free. The booking for this scheme starts on March 13. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Kingham to Moreton-in Marsh

Kingham to Moreton-in-Marsh
Length: 17.7km (11.0 miles) Toughness: 3/10

09:37 Great Malvern train from Paddington arriving at Kingham at 11:12.

Return trains from Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington are at: 15:11, 16:08, 17:14, 18:16, 19:14, 20:14, 21:14 (journey time just under 2 hours).

Starting with some potentially muddy paths across fields near the River Evenlode, the route then passes through a number of lovely Cotswold villages, including Adlestrop, whose station (long since closed) was immortalised in the eponymous poem by Edward Thomas in 1914. Chastleton House (National Trust) is an unspoilt Jacobean manor house open in the afternoon, whose café is a welcome tea stop in view of the distance from the lunch stop to the end of the walk.

Taking the higher, scenic, route from Adlestrop to Chastleton will add just over a mile to the distance. There are no suggested ways of significantly shortening the route. Much more information about the walk’s features can be found here.

The suggested lunch stop is the The Fox (tel 01451 870555) at Lower Oddington, after a third of the walk. It’s quite expensive and booking ahead is essential. An alternative, requiring a round trip detour of 2km, is the Horse and Groom (tel 01451 830584) in Higher Oddington.

The walk directions can be downloaded here.


Saturday, 25 May 2019

Scotland 2019.....Achnasheen

The 2019 annual SWC Scottish trip will be to Glencarron near the small village of Achnasheen in Wester Ross on the western edge of the Highlands about an hour from Inverness. It will run from Saturday 25 May to Saturday 1 June 2019.  For more information, please contact goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Bank Holiday Walk - Holmwood to Gomshall - Leith Hill and Surrey heathlands

Book 1 Walk 42 - Holmwood to Gomshall

Length: 16.7 km (10.4 miles). Option to go long by continuing to Guildford - total 17 miles
Toughness: 6 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-25 hrs   Horsham service  CJ 09-32 hrs;   Sutton 09-54 hrs;    Epsom 10-05 hrs
Arrive Holmwood: 10-29 hrs

Return  Assuming rail companies are running a Saturday service (not showing in rail websites)

Gomshall to London Waterloo via Guildford:  15-50 hrs, 17-50 hrs and 19-50 hrs
Gomshall to London Victoria via Dorking Deepdene: 16-04 hrs and  18-04 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Gomshall any route permitted. You might also be required to purchase a single from Dorking to Holmwood on your outward journey, although I have never been asked to do so.

Last year when we posted this walk on the May Day holiday some of us were caught out by Great Western running a Saturday service from Gomshall whilst showing a normal Monday service on their website timetable.  Hopefully this year we have got it right but no harm on you checking this out for yourselves.

If we have the timing right for today's posting, we should benefit from the last of the bluebells in the many woods along the way and the start of the azaleas and rhododendrons, particularly those in Leigh Hill Rhododendron Wood -  well worth the detour today, all as explained and shown in the Directions.

Elevenses today can be taken in the Leigh Hill Tower cafe, an hour into the walk. Then I recommend your taking the detour to the Rhodo.Wood before rejoining the main route before the hamlet of Friday Street - and your first lunch-stop option - the Stephan Langton Inn. Booking a table indoors is essential on a Bank Holiday a few weeks before your planned visit: otherwise, you take a chance with an outdoor table on the day. Some 40 mins later into the walk you come to your second lunch option - the Wotton Hatch - more of a family pub and very busy on Bank Holidays but you can usually find a table inside or outdoors.

After lunch its over heathlands before you drop down to Gomshall with its tea options. You can continue your walk to Guildford via Shere by either reversing the opening leg of  the Book 2 Walk 13, Guildford to Gomshall via St Martha on the Hill - a total walk of some 17 miles, or following  Book 1, Walk 14 Gomshall to Guildford via Albury Park - a total walk of 19 miles. Trains from Guildford are four an hour.
Walk Directions are here  L=1.42

Bank Holiday Walk - Edale Circular (via Kinder Scout and Mam Tor) [Peak District Trip]

Length: 20.6 km (12.8 mi) [shorter or longer version possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  843m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  10 out of 10 
From London take either the xx.02 from St. Pancras (change Sheffield, 2 hours 45 mins), or the xx.20 from Euston (change Manchester Piccadilly, 3 hours 10 mins). You will of course be somewhat behind the group of people that have stayed in the area…
From the West, take the 08.49 Sheffield train from Manchester Piccadilly (…var. stations…, New Mills Central 09.17, Chinley 09.23), arriving Edale at 09.32.
From the East, take the 09.14 Manchester Piccadilly train from Sheffield (Dore & Totley 09.21, Grindleford 09.29, Hathersage 09.32, Bamford 09.36, Hope 09.40), arriving Edale at 09.47.
Return trains to London: 16.32, 16.47, 17.34, 17.47, 18.32, 18.47, 19.32, 19.47 (change at Sheffield or Manchester, from 3 hours). You may get better prices if searching for split tickets to Sheffield or Manchester and then Sheffield/Manchester – London!
Return trains if staying in the area: towards Manchester xx.47 until 19.47, then 21.45 and 23.21; towards Sheffield 16.32, 16.47 (via Chinley), 17.34, 17.47 (via Chinley), 18.32, 19.32, 19.47 (via Chinley), 21.30, 21.45 (via Chinley) and 23.01.

“A walk of many contrasts in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, associated with rugged moorlands and dramatically sculpted gritstone outcrops (or ‘edges’), which also routes through the lush Vale of Edale, while in the afternoon affording grand views into the Hope Valley (including the notable dry gorge of Winnats Pass) from the Great Ridge, which separates the Dark Peak (sandstones) from the White Peak (limestones).
Follow the Pennine Way from its start at The Old Nag’s Head pub up along the fertile Vale of Edale, surrounded by towering hills, and up the Jacob’s Ladder path to Edale Head and to the edge of the Kinder Scout moorland plateau, a rugged, desolate peat bog. You then follow the edge past some magnificent rock formations and through an area of scattered wind-and-rain-sculpted gritstone boulders to choose one of three descent routes back to Edale village for lunch.
After lunch rise steeply onto the Great Ridge overlooking the Hope Valley and up to Mam Tor, whose summit is a great vantage point and a former late Bronze Age and early Iron Age hill fort. Its other name of “Shivering Mountain” is due to frequent – and still active – landslips.
An extension to Kinder Downfall, the highest waterfall in the Peak District, either as an out-and-back or combined with a crossing of the Kinder Plateau upland peat bog (only for confident navigators), as well as some shortcuts before and after lunch, are described.”

Walk Options:
An out-and-back Extension to Kinder Downfall, the highest waterfall in the Peak District: add 5.4 km/3.4 mi and 165m ascent/descent.
An Extension to Kinder Downfall, combined with a crossing of the Kinder Plateau upland peat bog: add 3.2 km/2.0 mi (but see the warning on page 9 of the pdf).
A Shortcut via Grindslow Knoll cuts 2.8 km/1.7 mi and about 200m ascent/descent.
A Shortcut down Grindsbrook Clough (this involves light but prolonged scrambling): cut 2.5 km/1.6 mi and about 200m ascent/descent.
Cut out the southerly loop up to Mam Tor: cut 5.4 km/3.1 mi and 220m ascent, rated 7/10.

Lunch: The Old Nag's Head  (14.4 km/9.0 mi, food served all day), The Rambler Inn  (350m off route, 15.1 km/9.4 mi, food served all day).
Tea: The Rambler Inn, The Old Nag's Head or Cooper’s Café/Cooper’s Chippy (open to 16.00) or The Penny Pot Café (open to 16.30). 
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files  click here. T=swc.303

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sunday Walk - Bluebells in the Peak: Hathersage Circular (via Stanage Edge, Higger Tor, Padley Gorge) [Peak District Trip] [New Walk]

Length: 20.0 km (12.4 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  488m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  7 out of 10 
From London there are no good connections on Sundays.
From the West: take the 09.45 Sheffield train from Manchester Piccadilly (…var. stations…, Edale  10.29, Hope 10.36, Bamford 10.39), arriving Hathersage at 10.43.
From the East: take the 10.17 Manchester Piccadilly train from Sheffield (Dore & Totley 10.23, Grindleford 10.30), arriving Hathersage at 10.34.
Return trains to London: xx.43 to 20.43 (change at Sheffield, from 2 hours 44 mins). You may get better prices if searching for split tickets to Sheffield and then Sheffield – London!
Return trains if staying in the area: towards Manchester xx.31 until 20.31 then 22.33; towards Sheffield xx.43 to 20.43, then 21.39, 22.43 and 23.05.

“Centred on Hathersage, an attractive village in the Hope Valley, this route leads through some outstandingly beautiful scenery and passes along the cliffs of the Stanage Edge as well as over the distictive Higger Tor and the ancient iron-age hill fort of Carl Wark on Burbage Moor and down the spectacular wooded Padley Gorge.
You walk from the station through Hathersage village and ascend gradually to Stanage Edge through the Hood Brook valley, a tributary of the Derwent River, not without first diverting past the village church and also passing through the Camp Green medieval ringworks. You also pass Brontë Cottage and North Lees Hall, places inspirational for Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’.
From the southerly end of Stanage Edge continue across the plateaus of Higger Tor and Carl Wark (both descents from the plateaus involve some very light scrambling) and across the Burbage Brook valley and Burbage Moor to lunch at The Fox House Inn.
From lunch the route is less challenging, as you meander through the landscaped Longshaw Estate on a choice of routes and down through the very atmospheric deep but narrow Padley Gorge following the Burbage Brook with its tumbling waterfalls in ancient woodland. Upper Padley has the Grindleford Station Café and a historic chapel in a gatehouse to offer before you join the Derwent River and follow it through quiet pastures and woods back to Hathersage.”

Walk Options:
Bus Line 65 (Buxton) and 218 (Bakewell) to Sheffield (broadly hourly) enable various shorter versions. Stops are passed at a couple of points around lunch (Fox House Inn & Longshaw Estate), and on the B 6521 at the end of the stretch through the Padley Gorge, before dropping to Grindleford Station.
A Finish at Grindleford Station (one stop closer to Sheffield) results in a 14.4 km/8.9 mi walk with 416/406m ascent/descent and is rated 6/10.
A Shortcut near the end, en route to the Derwent River, cuts 900m.

Elevenses/Lunch: The Fox House Inn (10.8 km/6.7 mi, food to 17.00); The Longshaw Tea Room (11.3 km/7.0 mi, open to 17.00).
Tea: Grindleford Station Café (5.7 km/3.5 mi from the end), plus numerous options in Hathersage, check the webpage or the pdf.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files  click here. T=swc.319

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Hurst Green to Chiddingstone Causeway

CW2 11 Hurst Green to Chiddingstone Causeway
Length: 21 km (13 miles). Toughness: 6/10

Catch the 9:07 from London Bridge arrives Hurst Green 9:38.

Bluebells should still be in full bloom.

Direct return trains from Penshurst xx:22 until 22:22, 23:11 changing at Tonbridge / Redhill (23:11)

Travel advice: Linear walk, out on one line and return on another, both lines are operated by Southern. A return ticket to Hever should suffice for the return journey from Penshurst.

Saturday Walk - Gritstone Edges, the Derwent Valley and Chatsworth House: Grindleford Circular [Peak District Trip] [New Walk]

Length: 24.7 km (15.4 mi) [shorter or longer versions possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  504m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10

From London: take the 09.02 Sheffield train from St. Pancras (change Sheffield 11.00/11.14) [or the 08.33 from King’s Cross via Doncaster and Sheffield], arriving Grindleford at 11.29.
From the West: take the 08.49 Sheffield train from Manchester Piccadilly (…var. stations…, Edale  09.32, Hope 09.38, Bamford 09.42, Hathersage 09.45), arriving Grindleford at 09.49.
From the East: take the 09.14 Manchester Piccadilly train from Sheffield (Dore & Totley 09.21), arriving Grindleford at 09.29. [Grindleford Station Café is just up the ramp while you wait for the other train.]

Return trains to London: 16.49, 17.51, 18.50, 19.50 (change at Sheffield, from 2 hours 41 mins). You may get better prices if searching for split tickets to Sheffield and then Sheffield – London! 
Return trains if staying in the area: towards Manchester xx.29 until 19.29, 19.50 (via Sheffield, connects to Hathersage and Edale) then 21.27 and 22.38; towards Sheffield 16.49, 17.51, 18.50, 19.50, 20.49, 21.47 and 23.19.

“From Grindleford Station, you ascend through ancient oak woodlands to the eastern rim of the wooded Upper Derwent Valley flanked by a continuous series of some of the most famous of the gritstone escarpments - or edges - of the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, named after the colour of the grit stone. You follow the edges south, with views along this stretch back along the Derwent River encompassing much of the Central Peak District: Higger Tor and Stanage Edge, Win Hill, Lose Hill and the Great Ridge, Kinder Scout as well as Eyam Moor across the valley.
After lunch you follow permissive paths through the Chatsworth Estate and drop down through the steep wooded edge and past the magnificent Chatsworth House (the UK's most liked Country House). You then join the Derwent River and return along it through the scenic Chatsworth Park, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown and Sir Joseph Paxton, situated in a glorious setting surrounded by wooded hillsides, looking up to the classic gritstone edge scenery walked along earlier. You pass through Baslow and a few other, more quiet villages, some woods, marshland, a wooded wetland and finally along ancient packhorse routes through quiet lush pastures back to Grindleford Station.
An alternative - more challenging - return route re-ascends the edges from Baslow village along the grassy slopes of the valley and through the Curbar Gap to cross the upland Big Moor along the lonely White Edge.”

Walk Options:
Various bus lines enable shorter versions by either taking buses from Sheffield or Chesterfield stations to stops along the route or by finishing the walk earlier with buses back to train stations. The stops are: Bar Brook Bridge, Robin Hood Inn, Chatsworth House, Baslow Nether End, Baslow Church Street, Calver Bridge, Grindleford Playing Field (see the route map for symbols for their exact locations).
·        Line 65/65a (Buxton - Sheffield, Mon-Sat to late afternoon): serves Calver, Froggatt and Grindleford (village);
·        Line 66 (Tideswell - Chesterfield, Mon-Sat, useful services are late afternoon and early evening): serves Calver, Baslow and the Robin Hood Inn;
·        Line 170 (Bakewell - Chesterfield, hourly Mon-Sat, every 2 hours Sun): serves Baslow and the Robin Hood Inn;
·        Line 215 (Bakewell - Sheffield, Mon-Fri, only one bus late afternoon): serves Baslow, Calver and Grindleford (village);
·        Line 218 (Matlock/Bakewell - Sheffield, 7 days): serves the A 621 by Bar Brook Bridge (half-hourly, cutting 8 km from the walk), Chatsworth House (hourly) and Baslow (half-hourly).
An Extension at the end, along the Derwent River and via Upper Padley, adds 700m, but cuts tarmac.
An Alternative Ending, crossing Big Moor along White Edge, rises from the Derwent Valley at Baslow back onto the edges and takes a route higher - and more exposed - than the outward route, back to Grindleford Station. This adds 1.5 km distance and 172m ascent and is rated 10/10.

Elevenses/Lunch: Jolly's Catering Company van (5.6 km/3.5 mi); The Robin Hood Inn (10.4 km/6.4 mi, food served to 16.00, last orders 15.30); Carriage House, Flying Childers and Cavendish restaurants at the Chatsworth Estate  (13.6 km/8.4 mi, all open until at least 16.00).
Tea: numerous options in Baslow, Calver, Grindleford and near Grindleford station, check the webpage or the pdf.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files  click here. T=swc.322